Locro (ruqru in Quechua) is a pre-Colombian Incan meal that originated in the Andes Mountains. In Peru, it is a stew of pumpkin or squash, potatoes, corn and cheese (which was added after the Spanish conquest). It’s usually a winter dish; but I thought it would be perfect for this gloomy, rainy spell we’ve been enduring here in New York.
[In Ecuador, locro is a potato and cheese soup served with avocado. There is also a dish called locro in Argentina; but it is more of a meat-and-potatoes stew.]
I imagine some might turn up their noses at a “plain old squash” stew – I thought I would, too. But the hearty but clean, simple flavors shine through. I love this dish – I bet you will too!
- ¼ cup olive oilextra virgin
- 2pounds acorn squash,peeled, large dice (about 2 small squashes)
- 1medium yellow onionsmall dice
- 3cloves garlicminced
- 1Tbsp. ají amarillo paste
- 1tsp. flour, all-purpose
- 2medium yellow potatoespeeled, quartered
- 8oz. peas,fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 8oz. queso fresco(for stew)
- 4oz. queso fresco(for garnish)
- 2cups stock,chicken or vegetable
- 1/2cup heavy cream(or evaporated milk)
- 1Tbsp. butter
- 1/2tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4tsp. white pepper
- 1Tbsp. huacataypaste (or fresh, if possible)
- 6large olives,Peruvian or kalamata, sliced
This recipe makes a pea-soupy consistency. For a thicker stew, use ½ the amount of stock and milk.
Butternut squash is particularly good substitution. Pumpkin can also be used.
This hearty stew is a great vegetarian meal option.
For a vegan locro: substitute vegan vegetable stock, tofu cheese, and almond milk; use olive or vegetable oil instead of butter.
Recipe by Jennifer Ramos Lorson.